Date of Award

January 2011

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Seth D. Dodds

Subject Area(s)

Surgery, Medical imaging and radiology


Our study is designed to investigate the question of whether plain film or CT is a more suitable imaging modality for use in the postoperative assessment of scaphoid fracture healing. We have retrospectively collected data on 16 scaphoid fracture patients who have undergone surgical intervention as part of their management, and who had both plain film and CT imaging conducted within a relatively short time frame of five weeks as part of their follow-up. These imaging studies were then assessed by two observers who are hand surgeons at our institution, and were graded as healed or not healed. Of the 16 patients included in our study, 12 had plain film and CT that both provided the same assessment of healing; 8 of these were also in line with the assessment of healing based on clinical data. Three cases (3/16) had variable interpretation of healing by CT and plain film. All three of these cases involved surgical repair of nonunions, and each of the three cases, CT was able to detect radiographic signs of healing that were not seen by the observers on plain film. These results suggest that in the majority of cases, CT and plain film imaging offer similar assessments of healing of postoperative scaphoid fractures. In cases involving surgical repair of nonunions, CT can detect subtle radiographic signs of healing prior to the appearance of such signs on plain film.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access